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Brie Pinnow is a featured contributor to The Impact of AI on Modern Marketing: 50 Categories Ranked, 70 Experts Sound Off report.

Here's the complete contribution:

Artificial Intelligence is the sexy, new buzzword in marketing. Much like the term “programmatic” has experienced over the past five years, there is a tendency for the phrase to be overused, misused, and abused.

Queue the face palm! Every day I see solutions being touted as some form of “Artificial Intelligence.” And although there are truly some powerful products and use cases, with much more to come over the following months and years, it’s safe to say we are vastly still in the “storming” stage of AI development for marketers.

The best way for marketers to avoid being swept up in the glitz and glamour of saying they are implementing “AI,” when in actuality the solutions are far from it, is through due diligence and education.

Frankly, the journey to leveraging true Artificial Intelligence for marketing begins with a common definition and understanding of what constitutes AI versus simple automation or smart algorithms. Right now, everything from chat bots to Google Home to Roombas to self-driving cars are deemed as Artificial Intelligence. But are all of them really on the same playing field?

Simply put, for marketing software to truly be considered AI, the system should be able to sense its environment, make decisions, and even have human-like conversations, with no human expertise or intervention required. Often, however, what you hear about in marketing today is actually a subset of AI termed “Machine Learning,” or smart algorithms that can identify patterns to solve problems. It may sound a little less “sexy” than the visions that AI evokes, but it’s still insanely exciting!

So what are some of the most interesting ways for marketers to begin leveraging elements AI, or at least Machine Learning, starting today? I always recommend that marketers start with solutions that can provide immediate improvements to the customer experience because, at the end of the day, it’s still all about them. Some of the ways marketers can use data to get started with intelligent marketing today include:

As we move from ML to true AI, marketing software will enable marketers to focus their time on creative details and remove mundane tasks. Instead, AI will help you do everything from composing an original song for your next company video (there are dozens of AI music start-ups) to quickly creating new programs and applications with minimal coding skills required (see Microsoft’s DeepCoder initiative). Simply put, AI makes it an amazing time to be a data-driven marketer both today and in tomorrow’s bright future.


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